Determined Doncaster girl, 10, with cerebral palsy 'doesn't let anything stop her'

The family of a Doncaster area girl with cerebral palsy have spoken out on her determination to live like ‘any other child’ by helping out on their farm despite the challenges she faces.

By Darren Burke
Saturday, 27th March 2021, 1:16 pm

Haley Mason, now aged 10, was born at Pontefract General Infirmary in January 2011.

Shortly afterwards, she was admitted to the special baby care unit, where she remained for around two weeks.

Haley was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy, microcephaly, developmental delay and epilepsy.

Haley Mason helping out on the farm.

Following her diagnosis, Haley’s parents, Abigail and Roger, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care provided under the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Pontefract General Infirmary and Pinderfields Hospital where Abigail attended antenatal appointments.

The legal team has also helped Haley access the specialist therapies and rehabilitation required to support her needs.

The family, from Crowle, are now joining with the lawyers to mark National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, sharing Haley’s remarkable story of how despite her condition she can still enjoy the great outdoors.

Anna Stacey, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Haley and her family, said: “Haley has not had the easiest of starts to life due to her cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let anything stop her from achieving what she wants. She is a great example of not allowing physical barriers to restrict her in life.

“March marks Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and it seemed the perfect opportunity to share Haley’s story as she is such an inspirational youngster who is showing how to get the very best out of life.”

By the time Haley was aged one, it was clear to her parents that she was not developing as they would have expected and she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She later developed epilepsy.

At the age of four-and-a-half, Haley took her first steps independently. Since then, her progress has gone from strength to strength, with the help of her case manager who arranged for her to see a rehabilitation assistant. Haley has also undergone occupational therapy and physiotherapy sessions.

In 2015, the family moved to a bungalow, which was adapted to suit Haley’s needs.

Haley enjoys being outside and spending time with her brother Charlie, nine. She has a specialist trike and buggy which helps her move around ground which is too rough for her wheelchair.

Abigail, who runs a farming business with Roger, said: “Haley is such a little ray of sunshine. Despite the daily challenges she is faced with, she doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants and her cerebral palsy does not define her in any way.

“She likes to play on her trike or her mini battery operated tractor, and enjoys helping out on the farm and spending time with the sheep.

“Even though she can’t speak and really struggles to communicate, she is a very determined little girl and we always encourage her to give everything a try. We want Haley to be the best she can be and believe this comes from her being given the same opportunities as any other child.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without all the help we have had throughout the years, and we hope that by sharing our story, we can show others what is possible when you have the right support.”